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By Paul Van Deventer | Jun 8, 2021

During my earliest listening tours after coming on board as MPI’s president and CEO, I repeatedly heard some variation of the refrain, “If it wasn’t for MPI, I wouldn’t be what I am today.” For me, that was an incredible affirmation of the power of the MPI mission, legacy and brand—as well as the passion of the community.

For many of the professionals, this refrain was an acknowledgment of the value of the education and community through countless resources and annual experiences. For others, it was a reflection of their volunteer engagement with MPI, the skills they’ve developed through those leadership opportunities and the networks and acquaintances that evolved as a result.

A key factor behind MPI’s storied legacy, and inherent in the noted value of belonging to the MPI community, are the thousands of volunteers that have powered MPI through our history—from the chapter level to global committees and boards. Another key factor is a critically vital, and often unheralded resource—analogous to MPI’s “Hidden Figures” and secret sauce—MPI’s staff, a passionate team who tirelessly strive to support our community and fulfill on MPI’s mission.  

WEC Vegas, June 15-17, 2021. Make your future.

While everybody is excited about the future of business events and MPI, that future is critically dependent on our staff. From day-to-day operations, advancing our strategies and implementing forward-thinking innovation necessary to run your association, we are heavily reliant on the accomplished colleagues I work with every day. And on behalf of our entire community, I would like to say a big thank you to each of them.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Like many of your organizations, MPI faces the tough reality of the current business landscape and we have proactively responded to it. From organizational restructuring and downsizing to making the hard financial decisions that will ensure our association will survive to serve future generations, our staff has been challenged to do more with less.

I regularly think about the sacrifices that our staff has willingly made in this trying time. Their efforts—often unseen—deliver a great deal of value to not just our members, but the entire meeting and event community.

I am so proud of this team and so thankful to have the opportunity to work with such passionate and dedicated teammates. A significant tenet of leadership is guiding communities—including the association’s own staff—through crisis. That is what I’m striving to do and that is what we, as a community, do: We come together, and we hold each other up.

If you are at the World Education Congress in Las Vegas—or whenever you next engage with MPI staff or our many volunteer leaders—please take the opportunity to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts to keep our community strong and connected during its most challenging time.

Paul Van Deventer
MPI President and CEO
Follow me on Twitter @MPICEOPaul



Paul Van Deventer
Paul Van Deventer
President & Chief Executive Officer at Meeting Professionals International

Paul Van Deventer joined the MPI Global Team in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of both MPI’s global association and the MPI Foundation, with responsibility for managing its global staff, operating budget, membership programs and community services.